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Saturday, March 28, 2009

When does the grieving process begin?


Before you wrote your rebuttal to me, I had been subscribed to a nursing blog. A girl had written in about a patient STILL ALIVE whose father was acting irrationally and in particular, angry. This is what I wrote her back. I will put a link to the blog site so that you can see that I didn't lie to you. I am not sure you can access it but just in case you can't, I will place my first comment here. If you read on, you will see that I continue to contend that the man is going through the grieving process typically associated with death even though his child is still alive. It is what I sincerely believe and this was written before you said anything just to assure you that I didn't put it up for the sake of a rebuttal. I can assure you that I am not a liar.


Nursing website

I was going to concur with some of this advice but make one other observation. I also did some home health many years ago. I took care of a child with Trisomy 22. She had multiple issues. One thing I recall vividly from that incident was the way these two young parents acted out. The mom regressed (sucked her thumb). The parents had many heated arguments. Talk about letting your psych nursing come into play.

Remember the loss of something doesn't have to be through death. These folks have never resolved the loss of the child that "would have been." That child is gone and in place is the one they have. When we get pregnant, we envision a little boy out in the field with a baseball glove throwing balls back and forth to daddy or a little girl playing with her dollies. We don't envision a sick child who will never be able to do those things. When we are blessed with a child such as this, who btw, can be a tremendous blessing to the family once these feelings are resolved, we have to work through the grieving process because the child that we envisioned is gone.

How can they admit that without feeling burdened beyond comprehension with guilt? Who would understand such a feeling? IOW, aren't we supposed to love this child just as he is? They are perfectly well aware of the fact that it is nobody's fault and that the child is certainly not at fault. They are angry with God sometimes. They are angry with themselves no matter how many times you tell them it isn't their fault. The drugs (pot) are to ease these symptoms. They are probably self-medicating. I don't know if any of you are aware of that kind of drug usage with illegal drugs. When they lash out in anger at you, it is probably because they are stuck in that state of grieving. Few people even recognize this because they are only trained to recognize these symptoms once the person has passed away.

It may seem at this point that the trust connection is non-existent. However... I wouldn't be surprised if these people do trust you because they feel comfortable enough that they can vent that anger on you. Unfortunately, it is like a viscous cycle right now. They probably feel even more guilt once they've lashed out of you and then rush off to smoke some pot to relieve the pain.

There are folks that have worked through these things and have been able to help others work through theirs. I have many friends who have.


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